Homemakers come into their own at Christmas

13 December 2012
Not many women grow up knowing their career of choice will be that of a homemaker. Most Western education is steered towards the commercial world but it is not until we start that type of work that we realise that our time might be better spent doing for ourselves and our family at home, actively saving the money brought into the home by the breadwinner and having time to raise children. Of course, it's not a choice for all of us. Many women have to work to make ends meet and some women work because they want to build a career or like the stimulation of the business world. But it seems to me that whether you stay at home and work, or go out to work, there are unwanted opinions and judgements being made about your choice. There is guilt involved too. The homemakers sometimes feel guilty for not bringing in a wage and the wage earners sometimes feel guilty about putting their children in day care.

I am happy to be living in a democratic country where free choice, within the confines of the law, is taken for granted. The last time I looked, free choice was not immoral or even unfashionable. Why then do so many people feel they should make their opinion known even when it's not been asked for. If the person making the comment is not in your family, it is not their business what you do with your life. We have to stop this silly petty behaviour and support each other, even when the choice made by someone we know is not what we would do. Giving out support and encouragement is much better for the soul than constant criticism and disguised hatred - that will make you crack around the edges.

Homemakers come into their own at this time of year. Even advertising changes from featuring career women in spiky shoes and men in sharp suits to gingham enhanced homemakers decorating the Christmas tree with eager, perfect children. TV news reports the shopping crowds are swelling and how much of a work out the plastic is getting. But we homemakers are at home knitting, crocheting, sewing, polishing, creating, cooking, baking and wrapping a huge variety of beautiful and soon-to-be-appreciated gifts that have nothing to do with shopping malls or cheap 'stocking fillers'.

We've changed.

We know that the spirit of the season has nothing to do with how much we spend, how big the tree is or how many bottles of Christmas cheer we can afford to provide. It more about gathering the family around, spending time together and appreciating each other. That is what Christmas is about for me - it's looking back and looking forward and knowing that our family is safe, sound and supportive of each other.

So as we glide slowly towards Christmas day, I hope you're not falling for the hype or stressing yourself out. Remember, this is not a competition or a race. This is the time for showing the love as well as feeling it. Take things slow, remember your small steps and be kind to yourself.